Sushi or kimbap?

Technically not sure whether this is sushi or kimbap! I usually make my kimbap with a beef filling but I have seen kimbap with crab stick as well.

Anyway, let’s say this is a fusion roll 😁 It has crab stick, cucumber, burdock and danmuji in it. 

I don’t often pack sushi/kimbap for lunch as it can be a bit time consuming to make but I recently changed job location and now can leave the house 30 minutes later. So more time for packing lunch (or another snooze in bed….) plus I was organised and had prepped all the ingredients the day before.

Packed it in my handy snack box with the usual garnished (ginger, wasabi and soy sauce) and some peach slices in the container.

Am busy this week making a “brain cake” for my book club, will try to post a photo of it once ready….. 




It has been a long time since I made these!

Have not been making a lot of lunches recently – somehow I get distracted by my new cake decorating hobby – but was really craving these lovely Korean rice rolls. They are very easy to make, but a bit time consuming because the different ingredients need some prepping.

This is a very classic gimbap with omelet, beef, cucumber, carrot, spinach, danmuji and burdock. I had prepared all the ingredients the night before, making the omelet, marinating and cooking beef, stir frying the carrot etc and had cut everything in thin strips ready for packing. Cheated a bit with ready marinated spinach from the Korean supermarket.

In the morning I only had to fill and roll the gimbap, much easier now with my new sushi roll gadget 🙂

Here you can see how I made gimbap before.

Fish cake Gimbap

Today I made fish cake Gimbap (Korean Seaweed roll, aka kimbap)!

Fish cake kimbap

Although I love gimbap, I don’t make it very often because I never manage to make just 1 roll! You need quite a few different ingredients, especially if you are making it from scratch, so I  usually end up with at least 2 if not 3 or even 4 rolls…and subsequently am eating gimbap for lunch and dinner and snacking!! I have a few shops nearby where I can buy  just 1 roll of ready made gimbap, but I prefer to have home made, as I can choose the ingredients and adept to my taste. Luckily now, thanks to Kimchimari, I finally know what to do with left over Gimbap, eat it hot!

My gimbap today has a fish cake filling instead of beef. Fish cake is a seafood product made from fish, starch, sugar and vegetables. In the Korean kitchen, it is often used as an ingredient, for example in soups and stews, or as a side dish. You can also find it as street food, served on a skewer in broth. I really like Eomuk Bokkeum: spicy stir fried fish cake with vegetables and am always very happy when they serve this as a side dish 🙂

As you can see, the fish cake in my gimbap has “leaked” a bit of sauce into the rice, but I guess that just make the rice even more tastier :-). The other ingredients for the filling are spinach, egg, danmuji, burdock and carrot.

I made gimbap before, and you can find loads different recipes & tutorials on internet. Websites that I use a lot (for Korean recipes) are Maangchi, Crazy Korean Cooking and of course bloggers like Kimchimari, Beyond Kimchee and many many others!

My dosirak was completed with some pretty orange cherry tomatoes, and raspberries and blueberries. I am so happy that the berry season has started. Have been checking our local PYO farm but will still have to wait until at least June before I can start picking strawberries. Until then I just have to buy them in the shops or market but at least they are a bit more available (and affordable).

Deconstructed gimbap

These are the leftovers from my gimbap (see previous post), quickly turned into a deconstructed version (aka as lazy gimbap) 🙂

lazy gimbap deconstructed kimbap

Rice (lightly flavoured with some sesame oil) covered with the egg strips, pickled radish stars*, cucumber and the stir-fried carrots. There is no beef in it as I ate it all, but I packed some crab sticks separately. Crab sticks are also often used as a filling for gimbap.

*pickled radish (like other pickles) keeps well for some time in the fridge, so I saved the long strips I used for the gimbap in case I will make some more later this week. The stars are cut out from some other danmuji that I keep in the fridge. 


gimbap or kimbapYou would think that with my love for sushi and for Korean food, I would have posted earlier about gimbap (aka as kimbap). Unfortunately, although I love gimbap it’s a bit time consuming to make, especially early in the morning!

But…with some preparation the evening before, the rice cooker timed and my alarm set a bit earlier than usual, I managed to make a few rolls and pack some for my lunch (the rest will be eaten for dinner).

(Korean) gimbap / kimbap (literally translation seaweed rice) is very similar to (Japanese) maki sushi, but at the same time very different. Instead of sushi vinegar, the rice gets flavoured with a mixture of salt and sesame oil. The finished roll also gets brushed with some sesame oil before being cut in smaller pieces.

Fillings include vegetables (such as carrot, spinach, pickled radish, burdock, cucumber) and egg, beef, crabsticks, fishcake, tuna or even spam!  Chopped Kimchi can also be used as a filling. My local sushi shop is actually owned by Koreans and the owner told me that his wife makes a very good gimbap with spicy pan fried kimchi. I have been trying to convince him to start selling Korean food besides sushi but he isn’t convinced yet about the commercial merits of it…Looks like I will just have to continue to make my own :-).

Another big difference with maki sushi is that there are no raw ingredients used in gimbap, or at least, I have never encountered any, but if someone has, please let me know in the comments…

I followed the recipe from Maangchi, you can find it here, but made a few minor changes. Her recipe is a classic version with beef, carrot, spinach, omelet and pickled radish.

My fillings, all prepared the evening before:

Gimbap or kimbap filling

Egg, cucumber (I didn’t have any spinach so used cucumber instead), pickled radish, pickled burdock (I have never encountered burdock before, except in gimbap, so wouldn’t really know what else you can use it for), carrots and beef. The marinated beef (with garlic, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil) adds a delicious flavour to the gimbap. seaweed for kimbap

This is the seaweed I used: gimbap gim. don’t know whether it is a good brand or not, but I could decipher that it is specifically for gimbap (plus the picture is a bit of a give away) and also the package (translation) says it’s already flavoured with perilla and sesame oil.

Gimbap or kimbap rolls

And the finished gimbap rolls :-).

Of course I forgot to make any photo’s while filling and rolling the gimbap, but it’s worth mentioning that I actually didn’t follow Maangchi’s instruction. Well, I did initially, with the roll furthest to the right, but as you can see the filling in that roll doesn’t end up nicely in the middle. Maangchi says to keep about 2 inches of the seaweed free of rice, and when rolling, one edge of rice needs to meet the other edge. Maybe it’s because I have too much filling, or too much rice, but the only way to get my filling nicely centered is by spreading the rice to almost the top of the sheet.

Looking back I actually think that I should have spread the rice a bit thinner as there is quite of lot of it, but anyway, the result looks pretty and it tasted great!